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Author Topic: US Unveils Tariffs on $50 Billion Worth of Chinese Goods , China Retaliate  (Read 841 times)

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Offline guruslodge

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The Trump administration on Tuesday escalated its aggressive actions on trade by proposing 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports to protest Beijing's alleged theft of American technology.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative issued a list targeting 1,300 Chinese products, including industrial robots and telecommunications equipment. The suggested tariffs wouldn't take effect right away: A public comment period will last until May 11, and a hearing on the tariffs is set for May 15. Companies and consumers will have the opportunity to lobby to have some products taken off the list or have others added.

The latest U.S. move risks heightening trade tensions with China, which on Monday had slapped taxes on $3 billion in U.S. products in response to earlier U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

"China's going to be compelled to lash back," warned Philip Levy, a senior fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and an economic adviser to President George W. Bush.

Indeed, China immediately threatened to retaliate against the new U.S. tariffs, which target the high-tech industries that Beijing has been nurturing, from advanced manufacturing and aerospace to information technology and robotics.

Early Wednesday in Beijing, China's Commerce Ministry said it "strongly condemns and firmly opposes" the proposed U.S. tariffs and warned of retaliatory action.

"We will prepare equal measures for U.S. products with the same scale" according to regulations in Chinese trade law, a ministry spokesman said in comments carried by the official Xinhua News Agency.

The U.S. sanctions are intended to punish China for deploying strong-arm tactics in its drive to become a global technology power. These include pressuring American companies to share technology to gain access to the Chinese market, forcing U.S. firms to license their technology in China on unfavorable terms and even hacking into U.S. companies' computers to steal trade secrets.

The administration sought to draw up the list of targeted Chinese goods in a way that might limit the impact of the tariffs — a tax on imports — on American consumers while hitting Chinese imports that benefit from Beijing's sharp-elbowed tech policies. But some critics warned that Americans will end up being hurt.

"If you're hitting $50 billion in trade, you're inevitably going to hurt somebody, and somebody is going to complain," said Rod Hunter, a former economic official at the National Security Council and now a partner at Baker & McKenzie LLP.

Kathy Bostjancic of Oxford Economics predicted that the tariffs "would have just a marginal impact on the U.S. economy" — unless they spark "a tit-for-tat retaliation that results in a broad-based global trade war."

Representatives of American business, which have complained for years that China has pilfered U.S. technology and discriminated against U.S. companies, were nevertheless critical of the administration's latest action.



 

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